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Gull Crest Trail, Cape Elizabeth

Updated: Feb 17

This trail was a total surprise to me. Just gorgeous. What was also a surprise to me, was the fact that I made it back to my car without getting completely lost. I can thank the many kind strangers I met along the way for that fact. I can also thank All Trails for their little GPS map, which I made sure to activate as soon as I realized this would be a somewhat confusing loop. So before I move on, I suggest downloading the All Trails app to your phone. Here's the link for this trail. Just select navigation once you get here, and follow the dot around the loop as you go. Thank god for technology, or I would be lost in the woods always.

For directions to the trailhead, I will once again recommend All Trails. Each trail offers a "directions" button that will lead you directly to the trailhead (which FYI does not always have an actual address). If you're feeling daring, follow my directions: from Ocean Street in Cape Elizabeth, take a slight right onto Spurwink Avenue. In 2.4 miles turn left at the sign for Gull Crest Fields (the address is 1 Gull Crest Drive). Follow a paved road with endless No Parking signs until you come to a parking lot near a community garden.

The athletic fields will be on your right. Find the trailhead near the far right corner of the parking lot. It will look like this.

As you enter the trail, you will see a large field and a sign for an off-leash dog area. This will follow the trailhead sign about dogs needing to be kept on leash. We may have jumped the gun.

Continue on until the trail turns back towards the woods. As you follow the outside loop counterclockwise (are you keeping your eye on that moving GPS dot? Trust me, you don't want to lose track of that), you will quickly arrive at a boardwalk. This is actually a short spur that leads to someone's backyard. You don't need to take this boardwalk, but you can if you want to.

Return to the loop for a short walk along a root-filled dirt path followed by a very long, very fun stretch of boardwalk.

Keep your eyes peeled for snakes! I did run into this little fella on a short section of aluminum boardwalk. I definitely jumped, but was able to snap a picture. Surprisingly, Romy did not share in my excitement. If it's not a squirrel, it doesn't exist.

Carry on all the way until you reach a beautiful bridge across the marsh. I almost missed this, as I kept getting lured by the trails that crossed through the middle of this loop. Just continue following that GPS dot and staying to the right, on the outermost loop.

Explore the bridge and run all the way across it like we did. But if you want to find your car again, return the way you came and head back to that 3.7 mile loop. As you exit the bridge, head right and this will lead you all the way to a road. If you look up the road, you will see this sign for L.P. Murray & Sons Compost Facility. Now this is the spot where I stood for a long time scratching my head. Until I noticed that the trail started up again, across this road. Don't be confused by the Gull Crest trailhead sign near two other trails leading off towards the left. Those trails will not lead you back to your car.

After you cross the road, you will eventually be led to Gull Crest Drive, past the No Parking signs and back to the parking lot. Full circle.

I hope you find your way here and then find your way around the loop, no problem. I am directionally challenged, so I'm sure you'll have an easier time of it than I did. Good luck out there and enjoy the adventure!


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